Operating Systems and Productivity Software
Operating Systems and Productivity Software Assignment Overview As we noted in the introduction to this module, we are in the middle of a major transition from the classical personal computer, running its own software under its own operating system, to the computer as an "information appliance" deriving its value principally from its connection to a network of shared resources, either local or, increasingly, located offstage in what is becoming known as "the cloud". The local operating system is much less significant in this environment than is the network operating system; in fact, the lines between the two are increasingly blurred. This has led to major shakeups in the world of software development, and, many feel, to a fundamental redistribution of power in the information technology environment. Needless to say, such a redistribution has not gone unnoticed, or un-deplored. Consider the following article, which has received wide distribution; it's an excellent statement of the concerns raised by many about this trend in the computer industry. You should consider it in conjunction with a fairly extensive set of comments by users and readers in reaction to this article: Zittrain, J. (2011, November 30). The personal computer is dead. MIT Technology Review. Nov. 30. Retrieved from Comments on “The Personal Computer is Dead”. (2012). OSNews. Retrieved from Of course, since for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, here's another article disputing Zittrain’s generally pessimistic assessment of the state of the industry: Whittaker, Z. (2011, August 16). Five reasons why the PC is not dead. iGeneration, ZDNet. Retrieved from and on the third hand, here's yet another point of view that essentially accepts Zittrain’s analysis of the industry but by contrast, considers it to be a positive development rather than a negative one: Hess, K. (2011, June 6). Control is highly overrated and overpriced. ZDNet. Retrieved from http://www.zdnet.com/blog/virtualization/control-is-highly-overrated-and-overpriced/3216?tag=content;siu-container Amid all these different perspectives on the interaction between operating systems and software, which do you find most persuasive? Is the software industry going to become merely a minor appendage to the hardware/operating system business dominated by a small cartel of giant firms, or is it going to continue to be a vibrant and independent element in the business provoking growth and change through its continued evolution? Case Assignment When you've had a chance to read this article, review information from the background readings, and perhaps research other sources on your own, please prepare a 3-5 page paper on the topic: What are the main advantages of owning a stand-alone personal computer? What other technologies are now replacing the personal computer? Assignment Expectations Your paper should be between three and five pages. Take a definite stand on the issues, and develop your supporting argument carefully. Using material from the background information and any other sources you can find to support specific points in your argument is highly recommended; try to avoid making assertions for which you can find no support other than your own opinion. Your paper should be structured as a point/counterpoint argument, in the following manner. You are expected to: •Begin this paper by stating your position on this question clearly and concisely •Citing appropriate sources, present the reasons why you take this position. Be sure to make the most effective case you can. •Then present the best evidence you can, again citing appropriate sources, against your position -- that is, establish what counterarguments can be made to your original position. •Finally, review your original position in light of the counterarguments, showing how they are inadequate to rebut your original statement. By the end of your paper, you should be able to unequivocally re-affirm your original position. You will be particularly assessed on: •Precision: Your draw on a range of sources, and to establish your understanding of the historical context of the question. You carried out the exercise as assigned, or carefully explained the limitations that might have prevented your completing some parts (running out of time isn’t generally considered an adequate limitation). •Support for assertions: You use examples, citations (especially to the required readings), and elaboration to support assertions. You provide evidence that you have read the required background materials. •Clarity: Your answers are clear and show your good understanding of the topic. You see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly. •Breadth and Depth: The scope covered in your paper is directly related to the questions of the assignment and the learning objectives of the module. •Critical thinking: The paper incorporates YOUR reactions, examples, and applications of the material to business that illustrate your reflective judgment and good understanding of the concepts. It is important to read the "required readings" posted in the background material plus others you find relevant. Your informed commentary and analysis is vital -- simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate paper. •Overall quality: Your paper is well written and the references, where needed, are properly cited and listed (refer to the university guidelines (http://support.trident.edu/files/Well-Written-Paper.pdf) if you are uncertain about formats or other issues.